Medical treatment

Information about Rights & Duties

Getting medical treatment in another Member State

Statutory and private health insurance in Germany

In Germany, both statutory healthcare insurance and fully private health and nursing care insurance policies are available. There are healthcare providers and hospitals that treat only private patients.

Most people - over 87% of those insured - have statutory insurance, and most healthcare providers treat both patients with statutory insurance and patients with private insurance.

For more information about the German health insurance system, visit the website of the German National Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare. In Germany, it is called EU-PATIENTEN.DE.

Treatment in Germany

If you travel to Germany specifically to receive treatment, you essentially have two options for obtaining that treatment.

Treatment with an S2 form. You must request these forms from your health insurance provider in your country of origin before the start of each treatment - for example, for outpatient and inpatient treatment and provision of medicines and therapeutic appliances. You will only be able to receive treatment in Germany if your health insurance provider has issued the form authorising you to receive the relevant services before treatment starts. You will only be entitled to receive the treatment specifically mentioned on the form, during the specified time, and to use services and providers available to individuals with statutory health insurance in Germany. To find out in which cases it is left to the discretion of your health insurance provider whether or not to issue this form and in which cases they are obliged to do so, click on the following link: S2/E112 procedure. Here you will also find more detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.

Usually, you will need to have the form converted by a statutory health insurance provider in Germany into a German treatment voucher or corresponding cost assumption declaration before you start treatment. In the case of inpatient treatment in particular, many hospitals are willing to carry out this task on your behalf. It is advisable to clarify this with your service provider before treatment starts.

Treatment under the Patient Mobility Directive

If your health insurance provider is not prepared to issue an S2 form or withdraws the form because the treatment provider in Germany does not have a contract with the statutory health insurance system, you can instead obtain treatment under the Patient Mobility Directive. This procedure is only possible if the service in question is also provided in your country of origin.

It requires you to apply for your health insurance provider to assume the costs up to the amount that would be charged for the same treatment in your country of origin. This must be done before you receive treatment in Germany.

If you obtain authorisation in advance, you can receive treatment in Germany as a private patient. You will initially have to cover the full cost of the treatment yourself. The invoice can then be submitted to your health insurance provider for reimbursement. Any outstanding balance will be yours to cover. It is best to obtain an estimate of the costs from the treatment provider before receiving treatment and to ask your health insurance provider how much you can expect to be reimbursed. Then you will know whether you will have to pay any outstanding balance and how much this is likely to amount to. For more information about this procedure, click on this link: Procedure in accordance with the Patient Mobility Directive. Here you will also find more detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure.

Responsible for the content
* National Contact Point for Cross-Border Healthcare - EU-PATIENTEN.DE * National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds, German Liaison Office for Health Insurance Abroad (DVKA)

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